This page sits within our information section on the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act. This is a specific page with FAQ’s covering specific situations and when convictions become spent and/or disclosed on basic disclosures.
Sentences with a buffer period (i.e. prison sentences, suspended sentences and community orders) are made up of the original sentence, plus an additional fixed period. For these, you normally start from the date the sentence started.
For sentences with no buffer period (i.e. a fine) the rehabilitation period is either the length of the order, or a fixed period starting from the date of conviction.
Under the 2013 Act, where an individual receives a custodial sentence of less than two years, they will serve the second half of the sentence on licence and then there will be a period of post-sentence supervision to make sure that the overall period of supervision in the community is 12 months. For example, under these provisions an individual given a six month sentence may serve three months in prison and three months on licence with a further period of nine months on post-sentence supervision – the period of licence and post-sentence supervision will be 12 months.
However, the extra supervision period is post-sentence and does not affect the rehabilitation period for the conviction. In the example given, the sentence imposed is six months and the rehabilitation period would apply accordingly – the period of the sentence plus two years beyond the end date of the sentence – and the additional nine months of supervision will not be counted.
For example, if somebody was convicted as an adult in June 2014 and given 5 months in prison, the end of their sentence would be November 2014, so the conviction would become spent 2 years later (i.e. November 2016). The fact that the individual might be subject to ‘extended supervision’ into 2015 does not effect the ‘end of the sentence’ under the ROA.
In some cases where a FPN or PND has not been paid on time and has defaulted to court, the offence is not recorded as a conviction on the Police National Computer and remains a locally held record. If you have failed to pay a FPN or PND on time and the matter has defaulted to court, you may wish to access a copy of your criminal record after the court hearing to see how your information has been recorded.
However, a Fixed Penalty Notice for an endorseable motoring offence will result in an endorsement on your licence. This will stay on your licence for either 4 or 11 years. It also takes 5 years (as an adult) to become spent. In practice, this means that you will need to disclose it to motor insurers until it becomes spent. You may also need to disclose it to an employer, if you need to provide your employer with your driving licence.